The only problem that arises regarding this verb and noun (ekdikeo, ekdikesis) is whether they always mean just that, or whether there is a milder, more impersonal meaning: “do justice”. Romans 13:4 might seem to fall into this category: “he (the ruler) is…a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Yet what might be impersonal administration of justice in a human ruler is a very personal anger—“wrath”—in an Almighty God who sees His laws being flouted. And the context also suggests vengeance: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto the wrath (of God): for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
There can be no doubt about the meaning of the Lord’s prophecy of the horrors of A.D. 70: “these be the days of vengeance” (Luke 21:22). Israel had violently rejected the Son of God, and continued to do so; and the Father was angry.
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Author: Harry Whittaker
Keywords: Avenge, Vengeance
Bible reference(s): Daniel 7:13, Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 54:5, Lamentations 1:1, Luke 18:8, Luke 21:22, Matthew 28:20, Romans 12:19, Romans 13:4
Source: “Avenge, Vengeance,” Word Studies.
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.